Betty Jean Lifton, Journey of the Adopted Self

"In the course of interviewing adoptees, however, I realized that it is not just secrecy that affects their sense of self but rather a series of traumas. This 'cumulative adoption trauma' begins when they are separated from the mother at birth; builds when they learn that they were not born to the people they called mother and father; and is further compounded when they are denied knowledge of the mother and father to whom they were born."

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